All words and photos by Matt Stone.

Transportation museums around the world vary—from purpose built, factory backed, artistic (and often architectural) wonders to old warehouses thinly repurposed into museum or personal (or foundation) collection display (and/or storage) duty. To take in and fully appreciate some of the world’s best, a visit to Germany is in order and will be time well invested.

All of the large, international Germany-based carmaking concerns have long, deep histories and have made it a core purpose to document and celebrate their pursuits. We recently visited two of the largest, best developed, and most accessible among these institutions: the Porsche factory Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and the colossal Mercedes-Benz museum complex, also in Stuttgart.

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Visiting the Porsche Museum

Porsche’s fabulous museum sits in the heart of the company’s sprawling factory grounds, and you won’t have to look very hard or far to figure out that Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen is a major company town—the fact that the Museum’s address is PorschePlatz 1 (Porsche Place 1) ought to tell you something.

This breathtaking architectural wonder officially opened to the public on January, 31, 2009, so it isn’t many years past its 10th birthday. The design of this remarkable facility is credited to Viennese architect Delugan Meissl, and written descriptions barely do it justice; photos help tell the story, but you have to stand at the entrance and see it in person to grasp the sheer power of the design concept.

The museum comprises 5600 square feet of exhibit space, plus an immaculate workshop and storage, a truly world class steakhouse restaurant, the company’s archives, a comprehensive museum shop, and other miscellaneous spaces. There’s a full service Porsche dealer just across the driveway from the museum proper, and a variety of Porsche factory office and assembly buildings surround the museum site. To stand at the museum’s forecourt, you’re truly in the heart and center of Porscheville.

Entrance to Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Entrance to Porsche Museum in Stuttgart
Inside, the gallery spaces are airy, open and dramatic. The high tech lighting is just perfect for photos, and some spaces include window glass to bring in outdoor ambient light.

As you might expect of an institution dedicated to the history of a company and family dating back some eight decades, the museum begins with introductions of the founders and major players in Porsche history, beginning with the good Doctor himself, Ing. h.c Ferdinand Porsche (senior), who—as if knowing there would be a museum of such significant global importance—famously said, “those who have the good fortune to turn their dream into a business owe it to the world to be the custodians of such dreams.”

Photo of Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche together

Photo of Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche together

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Visiting Two Iconic German Car Museums: Porsche and Mercedes-Benz
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Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:36:47 +0000

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